Posted by Chuck on December 3, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on December 3rd, 2017 | by Chuck


Let’s Review All our Credit Card Airline Credits before Year’s End [CSR, Altitude, Prestige, etc.]

I’m reposting this again because I know some of you still won’t have used all your credits. Don’t delay, do it now before it’s too late. This is your final reminder!

As we’re headed toward year’s end, it’s worth reviewing the annual airline/travel credits on our credit cards. This is to ensure we’ve used them and to strategically plan any credit card applications to time well with the airline credits schedule.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with a $300 travel credit (see what counts here). This used to be based on the calendar year. They’ve since revised that for new cardholders and offer one $300 credit per cardmember year.

If you’re applying for a new CSR card, there’s no special reason to apply before year’s end. Whenever you apply, you’ll get just one travel credit during the first year. (Maybe you can squeeze a second credit in right after the year renews and then cancel or downgrade the card to save the second annual fee.) The CSR bonus is now  at 50,000 points and seems to be holding steady.

If you are an existing CSR cardholders, depending when you applied you might be on a calendar year schedule or you could be on a cardmember year schedule. If you applied since May 21, it goes with the cardmember year, so year-end isn’t anything remarkable. If you applied before then, you’re still in the calendar year schedule. Be sure you’ve already used up your 2017 credit, and remember that you’ll soon be able to begin using 2018’s credit. Remember that the calendar year for this purpose is calculated when your December statement closes which could be as early as December 1. After that date, you won’t be able to get your 2017 credit and you will be able to start using your 2018 credit. Also give a few days leeway for the charge to go from pending to settled.

Chase Ritz-Carlton

The Chase Ritz-Carlton card offers up to $300 reimbursements for airline incidental charges (see what counts here). Chase ccounts the benefit based on the calendar year, not cardmember year, and it goes based on the actual calendar year, not based on your statements. Use up the credits before December 31 and begin using 2018s credit on January 1.

Citi Prestige

The Citi Prestige card comes with a $250 airline credit (see what counts here). Citi calculates the year based on the statement closing date of the December statement. Be sure to give a few days leeway for the charges to go from pending to settled.

If you have a Prestige card, use up the credit now, there’s only a few weeks remaining until your December statement will close and you’ll lose any unused part of the credit. If you want to apply for the card now, you’ll need to do it soon to get in on 2017’s credit. Note, there isn’t any signup bonus currently on the card.

Amex Platinum and PRG

Amex Platinum personal, Platinum business, and Premier Rewards Gold cards have an airline incidental credit each year, $200 for the Platinum cards and $100 for PRG (see what counts here). With these cards, the airline credit is based on the calendar year, not on the statement closing. You can put the airline incidental charges anytime until December 31 and have it count toward the current year. It might have to actually post before year’s end, though; give some leeway for that to happen.

If you have these card, be sure to finish up your credits before December 31. If you’re looking to apply, there is still time to do so and get the 2017 credit.

US Bank Altitude

The US Bank Altitude card comes with a $325 annual travel credit. Here the travel credit goes based on the cardmember year, not the calendar year. Until your year is up there’s time to take advantage of your year #1 credit, then starts the next year. A lot of us applied for the card at launch and have until May 2018 to use the first year’s credit. There’s still plenty of time for this one, and there isn’t any reason to apply for the card now, specifically.

Bank of America Premium Rewards

The new Bank of America Premium Rewards card comes with $100 airline incidental credit (see what counts here). This resets based on the calendar year. Presumably that means you have until December 31, but it’s possible they’ll finish the year based on when your December statement closes. (Language is: “You are eligible for a statement credit of up to $100 each calendar year if you make qualifying airline incidental transactions.”)

Finish up your statement credit with this one soon (buying AA gift card is easiest), and start using your new credit on January 1. I’ll buy the gift card right away in the beginning of January in case they close that loophole.

Wells Fargo Propel

The Wells Fargo Propel has a $100 airline incidental credit (see what counts here).This credit goes based on the cardmember year, not the calendar year. Check when you applied and be sure to use it up by your anniversary date.

FBNO Travelite

The FBNO Travelite card comes with a $100 airline incidentals credit (see what counts here). FBNO counts this based on the calendar year. Not sure if they go based on December 31 or based on your December close date. Be sure to use up your credit soon and apply now if you want to get in two credits.

CNB Crystal

The CNB Crystal card offers a $250 annual incidental charges (see what counts here). CNB counts this based on the calendar year. Any spend until December 31 will count as part of the current year, and January 1 begins the next year. Be sure to complete your spend before December 31. Give a few days for the charge to settle before year’s end.


Also check out this useful series we posted at the end of last year:

Chase Sapphire Reserve

76 Responses to Let’s Review All our Credit Card Airline Credits before Year’s End [CSR, Altitude, Prestige, etc.]

  1. Liz says:

    Chose my airline to be United when I first got my Plat card. I have used part of the credit already for in-flight internet, but still have quite a bit left–and of course, the United Gift Registry has been down for months and it’s anyone’s guess when it will be back up. Am I completely SOL for using the rest of my credit before the end of the year? I have no more air travel planned in 2017.

    • Saf says:

      If you call Plat service and tell them to switch to another airline they will probably do it as a complimentary one time change. Just tell them you moved and United no longer has a hub at your local airport.

  2. Jon says:

    Will you be adding other cards like the BoA Premium Rewards to this list?

  3. Vince says:

    Stupid question but Chase travel portal will trigger the Chase travel credit bonus right?

  4. JP says:

    Got plat upgrade offers for myself and mrs. Will soon be applying for them in early December to take advantage of triple dipping.

  5. Rob says:

    I would also consider adding FBNO Travelite

  6. captainsave says:

    Are you sure expedia works for citi prestige airline credit?

  7. J says:

    Congratulations J! Get Exciting Benefits When You Upgrade to The Platinum Card

    Just received an email allowing me to update my Green card to the Platinum. 60,000 points after $5,000, will go for it. Perfect timing

  8. scott says:

    Citi Prestige seems almost useless to apply for without a signup bonus.

  9. Lrdx says:

    Any suggestions what to use the PRG credit without any travel plans?

  10. Mike says:

    Wonderful post! Any chance of another list showing every common CC with airline credits? Some of which forget which of our cards offer them 😛

  11. Tommy says:

    Great article. Is there any easy way to see whether you’ve fully(or partially) used the credits for each of the various cards?

  12. mjs says:

    The only remaining question for those wanting to “triple-dip” on calendar year based bonuses is WHEN it’s safe to apply.

    I believe almost all cards now institute a “up to 30 days from statement cut off that has the annual fee” rule on when you can call and cancel a card and not have to pay an annual fee.

    So, applying today, you run the risk of getting the card and possibly having a truncated first statement that closes in November (which would prevent the triple-dip in January 2019 without also paying the fee).

    Citibank I know is notorious for random statement dates. I think AmEx and Chase tend to give you a month or even longer.

    But it’d still be interesting to have a post on how each issuer determines when the first statement will cut based on approval of card.

    • CtownBin says:

      With AMEX, statement date is irrelevant- it goes by transaction date (MAYBE Post date, but IME even if post-date is in January you get the pervious year’s credit) being in the calendar year.

      So, it’s too early to apply for AMEX, because you only get 30 days now with AMEX to get the full refund. So you’d want to apply, say around Dec. 7 or so. This gives you some time to get the card and use the 2017 credit, then gives you a week in 2019 to make the purchase (this should really be done on 1/1), wait for it to post, wait for the credit to post, then cancel. If you want to be even safer and give yourself more time in 2019 for all those postings, I’d wait to apply until Dec. 15 or so. IME, this still gives enough time for the card to come in the mail and for the credit to be used in 2017; this is what I plan to do.

  13. Matt says:

    Do we think we know how CSR credit will work? Can I, say, book $300 in Southwest flights, cancel card and get pro-rated annual fee back (fee hit in October), then cancel Southwest flights and have SW credit?

  14. SgFm says:

    Can you also add City National Bank Infinite? Thanks

  15. Alex F says:

    2017 started for my CSR on 12/18/2016, I am thinking that I will get my 2018 credit on 12/18/2017. I want to cancel the card but am thinking that I will get another $300 on the 18th. If I use the $300 on the 18th receive the credit and then cancel the card within the 30 days of getting charged the fee will I have to pay back the $300 to chase?

  16. TomT says:

    You forgot about the CNB Crystal card that has a $250 airline incidental credit each for the cardholder and up to 3 authorized users. It would be really helpful to know what qualifies as a reimbursable credit for this card.

  17. Henry says:

    A minor error under Chase Ritz-Carlton:

    “Citi ccounts the benefit” should be read as “Chase counts the benefit”

  18. Bill P says:

    I received my CSR 11/2016 and had to use the $300 credit before the end of the year. I had the new annual fee post 11/1/2017. Do I have a full 12 months to use it or use it by year end?

    Thanks for all your useful information.

  19. Aditya Shrivastava says:

    I bought a $50 AA gift card with my Bank of America Premium Rewards card and the transaction posted on 11/03. Still no credit 🙁

  20. kalium says:

    “Citi Prestige see what counts” shows a wrong link.

    • Chuck says:

      Not the wrong link. We don’t have a dedicated post for Prestige, it’s just the data points which we maintain in Payments Workshop. Check it out!

  21. JohnC says:

    I opened my CSR in Jan 2017 and used my 2017 travel credit in Feb 2017. I’m confused about switching from calendar to anniversary. After Dec 2017 statement closes, am I eligible for the 2018 credit and another after my anniversary (Jan 2018)? and going forward after the Jan anniversary each year? So, in my case, a brief opportunity for the extra credit (Dec 2017-Jan 2018)?

    Am I interpreting this right?

    • Chuck says:

      Nope. I don’t think anyone switched over. If you have the card from before May, you’re forever bound to the calendar year, so after your Dec. 2017 statement closes you’ll start your 2018 credit, and after your Dec. 2018 statement closes you’ll start your 2019 credit, etc.

      • JohnC says:

        So who got the “extra” credit? I’m confused.

        • Chuck says:

          I don’t think anyone got an extra credit. Where did you see that someone did?

        • artgriego says:

          people on calendar year schedule can triple dip this one time – wait until dec 2017 statement cuts , $300 gets renewed, spend that then cancel the card before your 30 days post-statement is up. i have no idea why chase decided to allow this loophole, but i guess it’s only possible right now as future applicants won’t be able to triple dip.

  22. Jason says:

    For the Citi statement credit, is it the December statement date so Dec 2nd or is it on the December statement so purchase needs to be made before the end of Dec for me?

  23. Dan says:

    The CSR is rather confusing… Those who are still on calendar year… are we staying on calendar year? So, you would be able to dip right before cancelling?

  24. P says:

    What still works for gift cards purchases – I know HA, AS, UA are all dead?

  25. Credit says:

    United gift registry is closed. They don’t allow any more point additions

  26. Credit says:

    Also Amex business platinum is not available without rsvp code. If you give you out name and address you may get a rsvp code generated on the spot by their system.

  27. Sergey says:

    There is a UBS Visa Inifinite with $250 travel credit per calendar year, but I understand that not many people have it.

  28. captainsave says:

    How long does it take prestige to credit you back. Been a month i purchased $250 AA gc but still not credited.

  29. Troy says:

    I just got hit on 12/1 with the CSR annual fee ( was a conversion from CSP as im lol/24, did that before the travel credit change reimbursement policy). Will I be able to rack up $300 of “travel” charges on 1/1 and still be able to get reimbursed and cancel/downgrade to avoid paying the AF?

  30. Theory says:


    Got the CSR in Jan 2017, so I’m on the calendar year for the travel credit. My statement day is on the 1st or 2nd. I checked the rewards portal after the statement posted and it did show that my available travel credit was now $300 again. I had a purchase ready to take advantage of it, which posted on the 6th. Second AF had not yet posted (I think it’d post on 1 Feb 2018 based on last year).

    Verified over SMS that I could PC to the Freedom without losing the already-posted travel credit, which they confirmed. Did the PC yesterday, and I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the $300 in travel purchase was finalized at the 3x rewards rate for the CSR and added to by available UR balance right then, rather than it becoming part of my upcoming January 2018 now-Freedom statement, and getting only 1x rewards.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *. Please do not share your referral links/codes unless the post specifically states it's allowed. If the post states it is allowed please follow the rules carefully. If you'd like an image next to your comments please create a gravatar. Most of all please be kind and respectful to each other. 

Back to Top ↑